Lookback - July 01, 2012
June 2012 Lookback
Wettest on record; cool and dull too

By Philip Eden


Pressure was relentlessly low over the British Isles during June, to such an extent that it was among the three most cyclonic Junes is 140 years of records. Mean sea-level pressure ranged from 2mbar below normal in the Western Isles of Scotland to 9mbar below in southwest Ireland. It came as little surprise, then, that the month turned out to be one of the wettest, dullest and coldest Junes on record.


Mean maximum temperature during June ranged from 19.3°C at St James's Park (London) to 11.2°C at Fair Isle (between Orkney and Shetland), while mean minimum temperature varied between 12.6°C at Lee-on-Solent (Hants) and 5.6°C at Loch Glascarnoch (Wester Ross). Daytime temperatures were typically 1.5-2.5 degC below the long-term average in most parts of the country, whereas night-time temperatures were close to the average. The Central England Temperature (CET) of 13.6°C was 0.9 degC below the mean for 1981-2010 - the lowest in June since 1991. In the last 100 years 18 Junes were colder, 78 were warmer, while four had the same overall temperature.


The highest maximum at a standard site (i.e excluding rooftop and mountain sites) in the UK was 28.6°C at Swanscombe (Kent) on the afternoon of the 28th, while the lowest minimum was minus 3.5°C at Loch Glascarnoch (Wester Ross) early on the 5th. The lowest daytime maximum was 6.3°C at Emley Moor (West Yorks) on the 3rd, while the warmest night was that of 26th/27th with a minimum of 17.7°C at St James's Park (London).


Rainfall averaged over England and Wales during June was 159.6mm which is 234 per cent of the average for the standard reference period 1981-2010, some 3mm more than the previous wettest June which occurred in 1860. Records started in 1727. The equivalent figures for Scotland were 104mm and 171 per cent of the normal amount, and for Northern Ireland 145mm and 224 per cent. Monthly totals at routinely-available sites varied between 344mm at Capel Curig (Caernarfon) and 38mm at Stornoway (Isle of Lewis) and Fair Isle.


Sunshine averaged over England and Wales during June was 125.9 hours which is a mere 65 per cent of the 1981-2010 mean, making this the dullest June since 1985. The equivalent figures for Scotland were 123 hours and 74 per cent, and for Northern Ireland 136 hours and 75 per cent. Largest total in the UK was 176 hours at Manston (Kent) and the smallest was just 58 hours at Eskdalemuir (Dumfriesshire). Other low aggregates were 72 hours at Durham and 73 hours at Nottingham. Such monthly totals would not have been out of place in February.


Strong winds occurred mainly around the 7th and 8th; the highest known gust was 58 knots at Mumbles Coastguard (Glamorgan) on both these dates.


By Philip Eden


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